February 19, 2019, 2:35 p.m.
BY BRIAN HEWS
Evidently, the long-time successful relationship between East Los Angeles political operative Angel Gonzales and Central Basin Director Leticia Vasquez is over.
What seemed like a perfect fit – Gonzales is a convicted felon who plead down to a misdemeanor and Vasquez was recalled from her City Council position in Lynwood – is now on the rocks.
Gonzales has worked with Vasquez for many years, even though she was recalled by over 70% of eligible voters in Lynwood for using public funds to boost her salary and pay for personal expense, as reported by the L.A. Times in 2007.
The Times also reported at the time that Vasquez and the others tried to block the special recall election, a slap in the face to the Voting Rights Act, going as far as firing the city clerk.
But a judge and then the state Legislature ordered the election to go forward under the supervision of county election officials, costing the city thousands.
After the fiasco, Vasquez was picked up by Gonzales for her 2012 Central Basin election, and surprisingly won.
Many gave credit for the win to Gonzales’s expertise in campaign management and the arrogance of her opponent, incumbent Rudy Montalvo.
HMG-LCCN exclusively reported after the election that convicted felon Ricardo “Rick” Mayer had helped finance Vasquez’ campaign along with Gonzales.
Vasquez kept in touch with Gonzales and contacted him again for her 2016 Central Basin re-election campaign.
With the help of Gonzales, Vasquez won again, but the campaign was one of the dirtiest in Central Basin history.
HMG-LCCN first reported about a shocking website that placed Vasquez’ main opponent, Maria Santillian-Beas, in a very misogynistic, sexist and humiliating position with financial information about her campaign.
Vasquez denied that she had anything to do with the website.
A few days later a mailer was sent out that blasted Santillian-Beas with similar artwork and financial information that was seen on the website urging voters to “Say No to Maria Santillian-Beas.”
Meanwhile, Vasquez racked up nearly $15,000 in mailing and consulting fees while promising to pay Gonzales “after the election.”
But Vasquez never paid Gonzales, leaving her long-time advisor with a $4,000 postage bill, while burning him for a $10,000 consulting fee.
Gonzales tried for months to talk to Vasquez about the money but, according to Gonzales, Vasquez, a public official charged with allocating taxpayer dollars, never answered his calls or texts, so he was forced to file a lawsuit.
Hews Media Group-Community News has obtained that lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court for breach of oral contract.
The complaint was filed October 2018 and demands nearly $15,000 in back pay from Vasquez; Gonzales’ attorney is former Commerce City Attorney Eddie Olivo.
True to Vasquez’ litigious nature, three months after Gonzales filed, Vasquez, who’s husband Ron Wilson is a self-proclaimed workplace attorney who represents Vasquez, filed a cross-complaint alleging breach of contract, negligence, and fraud.
Wilson and Vasquez, after working with Gonzales for over seven years through two successful campaigns, alleged in their cross-complaint that Gonzales was negligent during a campaign that Vasquez won.
Yet the cross-complaint contained only allegations, with no evidence of Wilson or Vasquez’ claims of negligence.
Gonzales complaint, on the other hand, contained hard evidence that Vasquez breached her contract.
Gonzales’ complaint stated, “in October 2016, Mr. Gonzales agreed to provide his services to Ms. Vasquez. Ms. Vasquez agreed to pay Mr. Gonzales for his work in designing and mailing out campaign literature and to pay him a $10,000 bonus if she won. Gonzales did not insist on a formal written agreement since they were friends.”
Gonzales designed one mailer that was sent out to over 13,000 residents in South Gate and Lynwood.
Vasquez, in consideration of the design and mailing services, paid Gonzales $2,377.
At the behest of Vasquez, Gonzales designed a second mailer and emailed a “proof” on Oct. 26, 2016 to Vasquez at 4:29 p.m. asking for approval by 6 p.m.
Gonzales indicated the mailer had to go out quickly and that he needed to get paid for the postage; all mailings from USPS post offices must be prepaid.
Attached to the email was Gonzales’ mailing invoices and also a $10,000 consulting fee invoice.
A little over an hour later at 5:41 p.m., Vasquez, in writing, approved all invoices and the consulting contract.
Vasquez wrote, “Angel, per our conversation, I agree to pay this invoice (for the mailing) two weeks after my election and in the event of my victory agree to pay you Angel Gonzalez a consulting fee of $10,000. Thanks, Leticia Vasquez.
The mailer went out but that was the last Gonzales heard from Vasquez. He attempted to contact her several times via texts and emails but she never responded.
Gonzales sent one last email April 12, 2017 threatening a lawsuit, with no response.
Finally, after his attempts at negotiations, he filed the lawsuit.
HMG-LCCN emailed Vasquez and her husband three times asking if they would forward anything in writing they sent to Gonzales complaining about his services; the request allowed Vasquez and Wilson to redact information if necessary
As of the time of publication, they had not responded.
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